30 January 2017 | Symposium Cycle of Violence in Post-Conflict Settings

Theory, Facts and Policy Responses

Date: 30 January 2017
Time: 9.00 – 17.00 (including lunch) followed by drinks
Location: NSCR (Colloquiumzaal)
Registration: before January 24

A cycle of violence model offers a framework for examining the impact of mass violence and its aftermath on family functioning, parenting and child development. It lays bare how violence transfers from one generation to the next; a transfer that may take place within families, in communities and/or within a society at large. Theory on the cycle of violence has been tested among war veterans and among victims of child abuse. It has also been used in criminological research on the intergenerational transmission of offending. Yet, many questions remain, particularly regarding the mechanisms through which new generations are confronted with and may learn to adopt violence, or mechanisms that may lead to resilience. For instance, due to compromised parenting, children may learn pro-violent attitudes (and violence as a coping strategy). Recent research also suggests that symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder facilitate or enhance intergenerational transfer of violence. Traumatic experiences during the period of violence may create difficulties in taking care of children and have been shown to sometimes lead to harsh disciplining strategies. Indeed, it has been found that rates of familial violence are relatively high in post-conflict settings. As such, children brought up by traumatized parents in post-conflict environments may be more prone to use violence in their day-to day life as a coping strategy. The theory on the role of traumatic experiences in the cycle of violence in post-conflict societies and conflict-affected populations has received only limited attention, and empirical findings are relatively scant. This meeting is meant to open a discussion on this intriguing topic.

Specifically, the meeting aims to bring together various stakeholders involved in research, policy development and practice (including academics, policy makers and NGO representatives) to advance understanding of and ways to deal with the cycle of violence in post-conflict settings and among conflict-affected populations. The meeting aims to – in an informal and engaging way – promote discussion and exchange experiences across disciplines, countries and experts. Since this meeting is organised as one of the final steps in the research project ‘Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Potential of Community Based Sociotherapy (CBSP) in Rwanda” funded by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) under its WOTRO funding scheme, a focal point in the programme will be the outcomes of this project and the potential future use of these outcomes by the community-based sociotherapy program in Rwanda and in policies and other practices in Rwanda and beyond, in different post-conflict areas.

You can download the full programme here:

About dr. Veroni Eichelsheim

Veroni Eichelsheim holds a degree in clinical psychology (Leiden University, 2005) and did a research internship at the NSCR (2004-2005). The 18th of March, 2011, she defended her thesis at Utrecht University entitled ‘The Complexity of Families. Assessing family relationships and their association with externalising problems’. She subsequently worked at the Netherlands Research and Documentation Centre of the Ministry of Security and Justice (WODC) where she was appointed on a research project focusing on the experiences of youths in juvenile corrections facilities. After that, she worked as an assistant professor at Leiden University (Criminology), where she taught a variety of courses on research methodology.

As from August 2013, she has been working as a researcher at the NSCR. She has an interest in patterns of intergenerational transmission, specifically in the complex interplay between family relationships, parenting behaviour, and antisocial behaviour across multiple generations. She is a supervisor of both bachelor-and master theses of VU criminology students.

Veroni is a member of the Intergenerational Cluster and the Extremism/Terrorism Cluster.

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